lima beans are broad, flat beans eaten green or dried. Lima beans are nutrient-dense and their richness generates feelings of satiety (they make you feel full). Often referred to in some southern states in the U.S. as "butter beans," lima beans date back to 5,000 BC along the coastal regions of South America. They are believed to have originated in Guatemala and Southern Mexico and were traded along routes that led into North America, and eventually were carried to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, and we'd probably eat more of them if they weren't also loaded with flatulence-producing enzymes. There are ways to enjoy beans without having to forego social appointments, however. One is to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork. Most bean aficionados prefer dried beans, but canned beans are also available. These don't need to be cooked, but they tend to be saltier and less flavorful than reconstituted dried beans.